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post #1 of 104 Old 05-24-2019, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
Luuca
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Luuca's MJ Build

I've been working through other projects for the past three years - the Wilicon project as well as two we sold. Now the Wilicon is on a one-year shakedown mechanical run before we blow it apart again, upgrade what needs upgrading, and do the body and paint.

The MJ PLAN: Take a stock 1986 longbed MJ and graft onto it a 1998 TJ rear frame section, bob the longbed, slap in a 4.0 with AW4, and set it up for fun.

  • 4.0 with AW4
  • Metalcloak aluminum short arms
  • 3.5" MC Dual Rate Springs
  • ACOS adjustable spring spacers and bump stops F/R (for tuning the level)
  • CavFab Alpha Steering System (CrossOver & OTA TrackBar)
  • Currie AntiRock front sway bar
  • Boostwerks Ultimate XJ Steering Brace
  • TJ Rubicon D44 front and rear axles
  • TJ Rubicon RocTrac transfer case
  • Adams F/R Driveshafts
  • TJ Rubicon Air pumps for lockers
  • Electric OBA with tank
  • Home Fab Overland style bed rack with in-bed spare
  • Home Fab Hidden front winch bumper
  • Home Fab rocksliders
  • Home Fab rear bumper
  • Black Magic Brakes F/R (maybe BBK)
  • 15" Rims (TBD)
  • 35" AT Tires
  • Bucket seats with center console
  • Air conditioning
  • and other crap I haven't figured out yet.


And So It Begins...


Day 1.

Objectives: Strip the engine bay, remove the fuel tank, remove all the bed bolts, pressure wash the engine bay and get it ready for 4.0 mock up.

The MJ is a 1986, so there will be some issues with the factory firewall and the 4.0. That said, it's only metal. We are confident it will not pose a significant issue. we scrapped everything in the engine bay and the V6 today. removed the exhaust, the fuel tank, and removed all the bed bolts.

Pictures:
In the shop - finally!
20190524_131608.jpg

The V6
v6.jpg

Stripping it out
stripping-out.jpg

1 hour out
1-hour-out.jpg

Ready for the pressure washer
ready-wash.jpg

cleaned up
cleaned-up.jpg

clean-bed.jpg

WHat's next - We cut the frame in half!


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post #2 of 104 Old 05-25-2019, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
Luuca
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Removed the bed to get at the frame today. Then replaced the heater core on my daughters YJ.
Attached Thumbnails
20190525_114815_1558822780056.jpg   20190525_114825_1558822798949.jpg  

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post #3 of 104 Old 05-27-2019, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
Luuca
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Day 2.

Today I drove the Teal Nightmare to the shop after stuffing the back half of a 98 Jeep TJ frame inside. Drove the XJ to put some miles on it to set all the sensors for the SMOG test this week.

The plan is simple: Graft the back section of a TJ frame onto the MJ frame to preserve the wheelbase, get a factory 4-link set up in the rear, and move the fuel tank to the rear as well. We will bob the bed to match the TJ frame - leaving about a 6' bed, but may (will most likely) have to rework the fender wells to match the TJ frame hoops over the rear axle.... it's only metal.

Laying the TJ frame over top of the MJ frame, it eyeballs like it will work just fine. Once we set the TJ frame on, we had a bunch of crap to install on the XJ, so the rest of the day was spent on that.

Pics:

20190527_092038.jpg

20190527_092254.jpg

20190527_092258.jpg

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post #4 of 104 Old 05-27-2019, 09:48 PM
chris87xj
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This is about to get really interesting.

***Chris***

"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."


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post #5 of 104 Old 05-30-2019, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
Luuca
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DAY 3

♪ The First Cut is the Deepest ♫

Not a lot to say. Cut the Frame and lined them up. Got some math to do, but pictures will tell the story... so here goes.

Fitting the brace:
1-positioning-brace.jpg

Welding in the brace:
2-welding-brace.jpg

Cutting: we left the factory front bed mounts as an index point for aligning the bed.
3-first-cut-deepest.jpg

Separation anxiety:
4-separation-.jpg

Mind the Gap:
5-air-gap.jpg

never got the key for the wheel locks - nothing that a welder and some beat up lug nuts wont fix:
6-lost-key.jpg
7-creative-problem-solving.jpg

Shortest bed version:
8-short-tail.jpg

We had planned on inserting the interior support about 2 foot into the uni-body under the cab.. until we saw this piece about 10.5" inside.. going to have to figure this out.
9-10-inches-inside.jpg

more pics next post

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post #6 of 104 Old 05-30-2019, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
Luuca
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DAY 3 (Continued)

The TJ rear section still had the bends in it. Have to cut them off.
10-tj-frame-ends.jpg

We leveled the frame to check for warping. it's pretty damn straight.
11-checking-warpage.jpg

Had to get creative on the chop saw. Used a package lift we have at the shop to raise the chop saw to the tube.
12-creative-cutting.jpg

Sparks!!
13-sparks-.jpg

Finishing off the ends by hand:
14-more-sparks.jpg

Eyeballing the fitment. the TJ frame is narrower and smaller tube. BUT it's only metal. we have a plan...
15-eyeballing-.jpg

Gap at the factory 119.6" wheelbase:
16-119.6-inch-wheelbase.jpg

More to come..

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post #7 of 104 Old 05-31-2019, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
Luuca
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Day 4

Set out today to set the bottom level from the front cab unibody frame to the TJ frame.

Once we verified the MJ cab was level front to rear, we took a couple of scrap heavy wall box tubes and pinned them onto the flat section of the MJ frame with the jack.

1-setting-bottom-level-edge.jpg

Tack welded the tube to the MJ unibody frame.

2-tack-welding-level-guides.jpg

This gives us a level bottom edge as the index point to level out the rear of the TJ frame.

3-both-level-guides-.jpg

Once that was done, took the tj frame and laid it on top of our level set. using a floor jack, and 2 levels, we raised the rear until the front of the TJ frame was level and the rear was level from left to right.

4-laying-tj-frame-level-front.jpg

Once we had all points level, we welded on two "legs" onto the rear to hold the height and level for the TJ frame section. The legs also give us the ability to move the frame to set the wheelbase and square the TJ frame to the MJ frame.

5-welding-legs-keep-rear-level-height.jpg

Once the legs were welded onto the TJ frame, we double checked it all for level. It was all dead on.

6-verifying-level.jpg

Next step is to use a plumb bob on the front axle tube and rear to ensure 119.6 wheelbase...

More to come.

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post #8 of 104 Old 05-31-2019, 10:53 PM
chris87xj
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It's not every day I get to see something like this go down. I'd have to stop by to see in person if I weren't across the country in Eastern Time. Pictures are the next best thing to being there though. Thanks for taking to the time to post it up here.

***Chris***

"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."


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post #9 of 104 Old 05-31-2019, 11:06 PM
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Interesting the stiffener inside the rail, must be a stress point. Probably unneeded with 2' of TJ frame inside, but doesn't look easy to remove. Curious

***Chris***

"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."


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post #10 of 104 Old 05-31-2019, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
Luuca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris87xj View Post
Interesting the stiffener inside the rail, must be a stress point. Probably unneeded with 2' of TJ frame inside, but doesn't look easy to remove. Curious
I think you will find our solution to this "flaw" interesting.

You see the two holes in there? Imagine the end of our internal support box with two large grade 8 bolts going through those holes acting as studs. Cut an access port on the front frame, put in a heavy wall pinch plate, two G8 nuts, then burn it all in. Tie the rear frame insert to the MJ frame directly. Of course rosette weld and fish plate the insert etc.

Once that's done, tack back in the access port, and we then plate the frame from front to rear tieing into (becoming) the fish plates.

SOmething like that is what we are toying with since removing that structural piece will be a PITA.

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post #11 of 104 Old 06-02-2019, 12:42 AM
chris87xj
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That sounds like a good solution that'll allow some precision in squaring up. Maybe drill a few more weld through holes in the outer section then grind smooth for plating. You may be in virgin waters on this one.

***Chris***

"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."


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post #12 of 104 Old 06-06-2019, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
Luuca
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Day 5

Today we set out to set the wheelbase of the MJ up, and to square up the TJ frame to the MJ frame so that we could start to fabricate out inner and outer frame connectors.

Using two plumb bobs on the front axle, we marked the center of the axle tube (right and left) on pieces of tape on the ground. We then did the same with two points on the back of the cab to ensure the vehicle did not shift during the measuring phase.

Using a long level, we set it up centered across the rear wheel hoops of the TJ frame, and used two plumb bobs to find 119.5". We then measured from the cab to the rear crossmember to ensure we were square. Also used the MJ frame as reference to center the TJ frame.

1.jpg

Once that was done, checked and rechecked, we ran a bead along the TJ frame and the leveling extensions we tacked onto the MJ frame on Day 4.

2.jpg

3.jpg

4.jpg

As you can see, the MJ frame is wider and bigger than the TJ frame. We are going to fabricate a set of custom inner supports and a fame cover using our plasma table and solid works software. It all starts with some cardboard mock ups.

7.jpg

My build buddy and welder guy started making them while I set about cutting off stuff we were not going to need and grinding the section smooth for the fish plates/reinforcements.

5.jpg

6.jpg

WHile he designs and builds the support sections, I am going to continue prepping the frames for mating.

More to come.

91 YJ "Alice"
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post #13 of 104 Old 06-08-2019, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
Luuca
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Day 6

Used the plasma table to cut out the parts for the frame "adapter".

20190607_181720.jpg

20190607_181832.jpg

20190607_181934.jpg

Bent it up on the press and started tacking it together.

20190607_192346.jpg

Going to finish it up tomorrow. More to come

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post #14 of 104 Old 06-08-2019, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
Luuca
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Day 7

Finished up the rough weld on the MJ to TJ frame adapters/inner supports.

We are running full speed at the bulkhead tie-in idea we had, and creating a custom piece to fit inside the MJ frame, use a pinch plate to bolt it to the MJ inner-frame bulkhead, and come out with the correct offset and tube size to tie in the TJ frame.

Test fitting the end-cap to our interior tube:

1.jpg

Welding in the Grade 8, 7/8" bolts:

tack.jpg

Note: I noticed this pic has 2 tack welds and not the full perimeter weld we did later. sorry, didn't grab a pic of the full welds.

We are making a sleeve that covers our inner support adapter so that the fish plates sit flat on the top, sides, and bottom (since the two frames are different sizes). Here's a pick of one roughed in:

4.jpg

Last but not least, these are the two Frame Adapter inner sleeves with some decent welds, but not fully welded nor ground yet. We want to test fit the inner supports before fully welding them and the grind-fest that will follow the full weld.

5.jpg

6.jpg

Next time, we mark the position of the TJ frame as best we can, cut it loose from the tack welds, and test fit our inner supports and sleeves.

More to come...

91 YJ "Alice"
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post #15 of 104 Old 06-09-2019, 11:31 PM
chris87xj
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Definitely virgin waters on this one and you guys ain't messin around.

***Chris***

"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."


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